Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Epstein: ‘many of them are on the young side’

July 19, 2019

“Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” — Donald Trump, on sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, 2002.

More:

“Trump called Epstein a ‘terrific guy’ who enjoyed ‘younger’ women before denying relationship with him,” David A. Fahrenthold, Beth Reinhard and Kimberly Kindy, Washington Post

“Epstein Arrest Is a Worry for Donald Trump,” Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg

“Watch: Donald Trump parties in 1992 with now-accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, pats woman’s rear end,” Dan Mangan, CNBC

“Behind the scenes the night Trump partied at Mar-a-Lago with Jeffrey Epstein and NFL cheerleaders,” By Rosalind S. Helderman and, Washington Post

“Jeffrey Epstein Was a Sex Offender. The Powerful Welcomed Him Anyway.” David A. Fahrenthold, Beth Reinhard and Kimberly Kindy, New York Times

“The pressure on a prosecutor: How Epstein’s wealth and power steered Acosta toward lenient deal,” Marc Fisher, Devlin Barrett and Kimberly Kindy, Washington Post

“Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained,” Jane Coaston and Anna North, Vox

“Jeffrey Epstein: how US media – with one star exception – whitewashed the story,”Ed Pilkington, Guardian

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Anti-Trafficking Watchdog Gave a Pass to Rich Sex Trafficker

July 11, 2019

Anti-Trafficking Watchdog Gave a Pass to Rich Sex Trafficker

In 2008, when Alexander Acosta was U.S. Attorney in Miami, he arranged a sweetheart deal for wealthy sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, who targeted underaged girls. Mr. Alexander is now U.S. Secretary of Labor, the Trump cabinet official charged with preventing human trafficking, a stated priority for President Trump.

As Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta has tried to cut his agency’s anti-trafficking program by 80 percent. Now Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested on new sex trafficking charges in New York.

Updates:

“Acosta out as Labor secretary as Epstein child sex scandal engulfs White House,” John T. Bennett, The Hill

“Acosta to Resign as Trump’s Labor Secretary Over Epstein Plea Deal,” Annie Karni and Eileen Sullivan, New York Times

“Trump labor secretary Alex Acosta resigns amid Epstein plea deal scandal,” Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

“Alex Acosta is the 5th Trump Cabinet member to leave thanks to a personal scandal,” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

More:

“Acosta defends wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal, says Epstein would’ve had no jail time if his office had not intervened,” Kimberly Kindy, Felicia Sonmez, Ashley Parker, and Seung Min Kim, Washington Post

“Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has no good answer for cushy Jeffrey Epstein plea deal,” Anna North, Vox

“How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime,” Julie K. Brown, Miami Herald

“Trump’s Labor Secretary Once Helped a Billionaire Child Rapist Hide His Crimes,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Ex-Palm Beach attorney blasts Alex Acosta over Epstein criticism,” Ben Feuerherd, NY Post

Related:

“Trump praises Acosta,who faces growing calls to resign over earlier Epstein case,” John Wagner and Lisa Rein, Washington Post

“NYPD let convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein skip judge-ordered check-ins,” Elizabeth Rosner, Tina Moore, Larry Celona and Bruce Golding, NY Post

“Barr won’t recuse from Epstein prosecution but will remain uninvolved in any review of past plea deal,” Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“House panel requests Acosta’s testimony on Epstein’s 2008 plea deal,” Orion Rummler, Axios

“The Department of Labor Is Making It Harder for Trafficking Victims to Get Protection,” Isabela Dias, Pacific Standard

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Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

June 13, 2019
Federal Watchdog: Fire Hatch Act Violator KellyAnne Conway

   GUILTY OF SERIAL HATCH ACT VIOLATIONS.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to the White House on Thursday recommending that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway “be removed from federal service” for repeatedly using her official position for political purposes, violations of the Hatch Act:

“Ms. Conway’s violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system—the rule of law.”

“Nyah, nyah, nyah,” responded Deputy Press Secretary Steven Groves. The OSC does not have legal authority to remove a presidential appointee like Ms. Conway, but would have booted a career federal official long before this point. OSC had reprimanded Ms. Kelly over ethics concerns starting in 2017, and for multiple Hatch Act violations in 2018 and 2019. The Special Counsel of OSC is Trump-nominated investigator Henry Kerner. During the first year of the Trump Administration, Hatch Act violation compliants to the OSC rose 30 percent.

Attention lawyers: How many public ethics violations does an attorney need to commit before she’s disbarred?

More:

“Special counsel: Kellyanne Conway violated Hatch Act, should be removed,” Nicholas Sakelaris, UPI

“Kellyanne Conway Should Be Fired For Violating Ethics Law, Oversight Office Says,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

“Federal agency recommends that Kellyanne Conway be removed from service,” Anita Kumar, Politico

“Federal watchdog agency recommends removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act,” Felicia Sonmez, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Updates:

“Trump says he won’t fire Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act violations,” John Wagner and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post

“Nobody Will Need To Respect The Rule Of Law After The Trump Administration,” Elie Mystal, Above The Law

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Otisville Vacation

May 7, 2019

Otisville Vacation

Business Notice:

Michael Cohen, Esq., former Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, is relocating to the federal enclave at Otisville NY, in leafy Orange County, for a 3-year residency. Please refer all future Donald Trump obstruction of justice proposals to William P. Barr, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001.

More:

“Michael Cohen, by Turns Lawyer and Witness, Becomes an Inmate,” Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess and William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

“As Cohen heads to prison, Trump is ensnared in more questions about possible illegal behavior,” Phillip Bump, Washington Post

“Hundreds of former prosecutors say Trump would’ve been charged with obstruction if he weren’t president,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

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Image (“Portrait of a Trump Lawyer”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

April 26, 2019

Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

On  Friday, Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan sentenced admitted Russian spy Maria Butina to 18 months in prison. “I am deeply embarrassed,” said Ms. Butina.

The former American University grad student pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation, and seeking to influence U.S. conservative politicians through the National Rifle Association.It’s a salacious spy story of sex, guns, money, and the National Prayer Breakfast, and it’s packed with oligarchsRepublicanslobbyistsTreasury officials and Kremlin connections, a saga spanning the globe from Siberia to South Dakota. Her older American lover, Paul Erickson, a GOP fundraiser and NRA supporter, is charged with fraud and money laundering in a separate case.

Ms. Butina, deemed a flight risk, has been imprisoned since her indictment in July. We hope she will be able to continue with her Tai Chi in prison.

More:

“Maria Butina, Russian who conspired to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups, sentenced to 18 months,” Spencer S. Hsu and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“Russian Agent Maria Butina Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison: ‘I Destroyed My Own Life,’” Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast

“Maria Butina is not a Russian spy, but a ‘spotter’: DOJ revives intrigue over gun rights activist,” Kristine Phillips, USA Today

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Florida: Biggest Health Care Fraud Ever

April 12, 2019

Florida: Biggest Health Care Fraud Ever

A Federal jury has found Florida health care network owner Philip Esformes guilty of running an 18-year, $1.3 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme. He used some of the money to bribe the University of Pennsylvania basketball coach to get his son into Penn. If his son is pre-law, maybe the kid can help him with the fraud appeal.

Philip Esformes, a man of convictions. We reluctantly point out that this is the “largest health care fraud in U.S. history.” Every time we do that, some Florida Man is found pulling an even bigger scam.

More:

“Florida businessman convicted in $1B Medicare fraud case,” Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press

“Miami healthcare exec Philip Esformes found guilty of paying kickbacks and bribes,”Jay Weaver and David Ovalle, Miami Herald

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The Trump Foundation Christmas Party Is Cancelled

December 20, 2018

The Trump Foundation Christmas Party Is Cancelled

This week New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced that she is euthanizing the rogue Donald J. Trump Foundation. The so-called nonprofit outfit was directly run by Donald Trump and three of his spawn. Rather than engaging in charitable actives,said the AG, there was a“shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation—including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.” This included funding Trump Senior’s election campaign, promoting his businesses, paying off his legal obligations.

As Charles Blow observes, “How can a family that can’t run a charity run a country?”

More:

“Trump’s Crooked Foundation Dissolves, But Investigation Continues,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

Clinton Foundation exec mocks Trump Foundation closing amid legal trouble
BY Morgan Gstalter, The Hill

“What the Collapse of the Trump Foundation Tells Us About Donald Trump,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Trump lashes out at New York attorney general who sued his foundation,” David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

“Trump Foundation dissolves, but Trump abuses and pursuit of personal gain live on,” Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen, USA Today

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Magna Carta Caper

October 29, 2018

The Magna Carta Caper

In Wiltshire last week, a man was arrested for attempting to steal the 800-year-old Magna Carta on display at Salisbury Cathedral. The ancient document was unharmed, but its display case was heavily damaged. The criminal caper was foiled by Matt Delcambre, an American tourist from Louisiana, who tackled the hammer-wielding miscreant. “Back home he would have been hog-tied on the ground,” explained Mrs. Delcambre.

The alleged offender, free on bail, awaits his day in court, a right established by the Magna Carta.

More:

“Man Tried To Steal Magna Carta, 800-Year-Old Symbol Of The Law, Police Say,” Bill Chappell, NPR

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Image (“King John Adds a Digital Signature to the Magna Carta, 1215”)  by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

October 19, 2018

Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

“Donald Trump has praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking a Guardian reporter, saying that someone who performs a body slam is ‘my guy.’

Trump described in glowing terms the physical assault that occurred on 24 May 2017 when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, was asking Gianforte a question about health care policy in the course of a special congressional election in Bozeman, Montana. The US president incited cheers and chants from a crowd of about 8,000 supporters on Thursday night when he said: ‘Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand. Never.’

As the cheers rang out across an aircraft hangar in Missoula, Trump went on to say: ‘Any guy that can do a body slam … he’s my guy.’

Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil.”

— “Trump praises Gianforte for assault on Guardian reporter: ‘He’s my guy,'” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

In related news, PEN America is suing Mr.Trump in New York district court, claiming he “violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the Constitution,” a document which doesn’t consider the press to be the Enemy of the People.

More:

“Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.” Suzanne Nossel, Politico

“Suing Trump for endangering the First Amendment,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“Yale Law clinic helps writers group file First Amendment suit against Trump,” Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Jamal’s Apple Watch

October 15, 2018

Jamal's Apple Watch
On Saturday, pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah reported that Turkish officials have audio recordings of the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi journalist who went missing on October 2nd after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and is presumed dead at the hands of a Saudi hit squad. The newspaper claims that Khashoggi recorded his own death on his Apple Watch and transmitted the audio files to his iPhone, held by his fiancée on the street outside the consulate.

That’s a memorable but unlikely story. Smartwatches connect to cellphones via Bluetooth, and it’s doubtful a signal could travel that far, and the likely recording app only transfers audio files after the watch wearer turns it off, a hard task for the deceased. If Turkish agents have such recordings, it’s most likely because they have the Saudi consulate bugged, and they spread the watch story as cover.

Mr. Khashoggi was a permanent resident of the U.S., so maybe the American ambassadors to Turkey and Saudi Arabia can look into the matter. Oh wait, President Trump still hasn’t appointed anyone to those crucial diplomatic posts.

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